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Engineering, but with more biology

Started by Vene, January 13, 2009, 10:14:25 PM

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What is your overall opinion of genetic engineering?

Mostly positive
Neutral/I don't know
Mostly negative
Obligatory other option

Vene

This is partially inspired by the transhumanism thread and because I have an interest in genes and synthetic biology.  I was also curious as to what other people on the board think about manipulating forms of life (human, animal, plant, microbial) for our own ends.

My own opinion is that I have a postive opinion.  Manipulation of microorganisms is here to stay and has already given beneficial results.  I think that in the case of plants and animals there is potential benefit.  As for humans, I would love it if gene therapy was made workable (without the cancer issue), but part of me worries about a Hitleresque application. (ZOMG Godwin!)

Cainad (dec.)

I guess I'm mostly positive, in the sense that I tend to think "dude, we could make cool shit with this!" rather than "I don't trust this; who knows what could happen?"

But then I think about Monsanto... :x

Kai

#2
I have a neutral view of biological engineering. On one hand, its responsible largely for our ability to sustain the populations of this planets. Genetic engineering, or at least the precursor to the modern techniques, has been going on for the last 10 thousand years. Yes, we didn't call it genetic engineering back then, but thats what it was essentially, manipulation of plants and animals through direct selection of which organisms breed. Modern techniques are laboratory, but every farmer knows about crossbreeding.

When we interfere with natural processes, there is always a chance we will fuck over something MAJORLY. Caution is needed, mostly for our own protection. Either we'll fuck over the environment so we can't survive, or we'll fuck over ourselves directly. So, its both useful and dangerous, like most tools.

What I'm NOT worried about is what genetically modified corn is gonna do to my digestive system. Unless there is some sort of toxin they breed into the organism, its not gonna change the general makeup of the food stuff that much to matter. I really don't loose sleep over that, so people, quit bitching about genetically modified food. Srsly.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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fomenter

#3
there are some strange escalations involved in genetic food, super-weeds, super poisons that are scary, and some farmers get fucked by genetic patented plants growing where they shouldn't be and ending up in lawsuits. the name Monsanto comes up in all of those.. in general i am neutral there will be fuck ups, i am not sure they are worth being alarmist over, and there will be successes that feed people as well ...
"So she says to me, do you wanna be a BAD boy? And I say YEAH baby YEAH! Surf's up space ponies! I'm makin' gravy... Without the lumps. HAAA-ha-ha-ha!"


hmroogp

willem

There is such a thing as bio-engineering, but genetic manipulation is just one small aspect of it. :)
(really, engineers who don't ever get dirt on their boots. Are they really engineers? :) )

Richter

I'm in favor of it, but with proper regard for safety and ensuring we don't corrupt or undermine existing systems with it.  The potential for it is high.  While it IS possible  to fuck up on a grand scale with it, scaremongering about accidental super - viruses or velociraptor - tiger hybrids are silly reasons not to develop and understand it.

I can see the arguements as paralell with nuclear energy / weaponry debate.  If we were going to shy away form thing just because they MIGHT destroy us, we should never have messed with sticks, rocks or fire.
Quote from: Eater of Clowns on May 22, 2015, 03:00:53 AM
Anyone ever think about how Richter inhabits the same reality as you and just scream and scream and scream, but in a good way?   :lulz:

Friendly Neighborhood Mentat

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

The only two things that concern me about bioengineering:

1. As FOM stated, Corporations patenting life... Monsanto making you pay for beans that you didn't buy from them... etc

2. A genetic change that renders some important food source (corn for example) more susceptible to some terrible blight. I'm thinking Ireland during the Potato famine kind of stuff. As long as we remain diversified, we're in good shape... but corn etc aren't gonna keep their DNA in a single farmer's field...

Otherwise, I'm all for it.
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

willem

Dear boys and girls,

I take offence.  :argh!:
You are talking about genetic engineering, not bio engineering. I'm a bio/environmental engineer and I certainly don't alter plant DNA for a living.  :mrgreen:

Regards,

fomenter

what is your area or work in bioengineering if i can ask?
"So she says to me, do you wanna be a BAD boy? And I say YEAH baby YEAH! Surf's up space ponies! I'm makin' gravy... Without the lumps. HAAA-ha-ha-ha!"


hmroogp

willem

environmental technology. all sorts of it, really. I'm pretty fresh, but i'm rather decent with water purification. ^^

fomenter

like wetland ecosystems to filter water?
"So she says to me, do you wanna be a BAD boy? And I say YEAH baby YEAH! Surf's up space ponies! I'm makin' gravy... Without the lumps. HAAA-ha-ha-ha!"


hmroogp

willem

Among them, yes, although I've mostly kept busy with more conventional water purification: classic household/industrial wastewater treatments.


Something like this one:
http://www.durhamcountync.gov/departments/ceng/images/Utility_Division/Wastewater_Treatment_Plant-001.jpg

fomenter

nice, if there is something interesting going on in your field you should start a thread
"So she says to me, do you wanna be a BAD boy? And I say YEAH baby YEAH! Surf's up space ponies! I'm makin' gravy... Without the lumps. HAAA-ha-ha-ha!"


hmroogp

Vene

Quote from: willem on January 27, 2009, 07:26:55 AM
Dear boys and girls,

I take offence.  :argh!:
You are talking about genetic engineering, not bio engineering. I'm a bio/environmental engineer and I certainly don't alter plant DNA for a living.  :mrgreen:

Regards,
So talk about it.  I just wanted to see if I could start a discussion, and gene manipulation is the most well known aspect of biological tinkering (plus, it helps that my major is biotechnology so I'm biased).  Out of curiosity, what kind of work do you do?

fomenter

"So she says to me, do you wanna be a BAD boy? And I say YEAH baby YEAH! Surf's up space ponies! I'm makin' gravy... Without the lumps. HAAA-ha-ha-ha!"


hmroogp